Biased Referees?: Reconciling Results with the NBA's Analysis

9 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2012

See all articles by Joseph Price

Joseph Price

Brigham Young University

Justin Wolfers

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics; University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy; The University of Sydney - Discipline of Economics; Brookings Institution - Economic Studies Program; Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Kiel Institute for the World Economy

Date Written: July 2012

Abstract

In a recent study, we used National Basketball Association (NBA) box‐score data over a 13‐year period including nearly 600,000 foul calls to show that NBA referees call relatively more fouls on players of another race. The NBA commissioned its own study using internal data with information on calls made by individual referees and claimed the results show there is no bias among the referees in the NBA. This paper is an attempt to reconcile these competing claims.

JEL Classification: J15, J71

Suggested Citation

Price, Joseph and Wolfers, Justin, Biased Referees?: Reconciling Results with the NBA's Analysis (July 2012). Contemporary Economic Policy, Vol. 30, Issue 3, pp. 320-328, 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2100612 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1465-7287.2011.00268.x

Joseph Price (Contact Author)

Brigham Young University ( email )

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Justin Wolfers

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics ( email )

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Brookings Institution - Economic Studies Program ( email )

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Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics ( email )

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